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Jerry Katz
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3401, Saturday, January 3, 2009, Editor: Mark


sometimes I am a lonely little poem

sometimes i am a lonely little poem
that no one reads
and i fall into a heap
in the bottom of a bird cage

sometimes i grow wings.


silly little man

you silly little man
how you grovel at my feet!
adore my image
while you bury your loved one
in the pyramid of your desire,
do not try to buy my favors
with your shiny little prayers
do not walk on water
and sell your soul,
don't torment yourself
with words that will never come to you,
I am no bride
to lie down by your side,
I am a poem,
your hard-hearted lover.



when the dead of winter
heavy on the ground
the silence of my being
mocks me with awareness
and the wind howls
with delight,
a New Year will enter
another page of history
and softly will end
this night.

- Anna Ruiz, posted to The_Now2


the hard hearted little poem grows wings

I read not its silence
but its copper-bottomed promise
of love at work
and risk being accused of trying to buy its favours

- John Bailey, posted to The_Now2

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

Don't call this world adorable, or useful, that's not it.
It's frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn't the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven't the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
Don't call this world an explanation, or even an education.
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?

- Mary Oliver

The Lilies Break Open Over the Dark Water

that mud-hive, that gas-sponge,
that reeking
leaf-yard, that rippling

dream-bowl, the leeches'
flecked and swirling
broth of life, as rich
as Babylon,

the fists crack
open and the wands
of the lilies
quicken, they rise

like pale poles
with their wrapped beaks of lace;
one day
they tear the surface,

the next they break open
over the dark water.
And there you are
on the shore,

fitful and thoughtful, trying
to attach them to an idea -
some news of your own life.
But the lilies

are slippery and wild - they are
devoid of meaning, they are
simply doing,
from the deepest

spurs of their being,
what they are impelled to do
every summer.
And so, dear sorrow, are you.

- Mary Oliver

By looking in a mirror, one perceives his own identity;
But that identity was already there.

In the same way, relative knowledge gives the understanding
Of the identity of the world and the Self -
But it is like using a knife
To cut another knife.

Fire, in the process of annihilating camphor,
Annihilates itself as well;
This is exactly what happens to knowledge
In the process of destroying ignorance.

The cresting of a wave is but its fall;
The flash of a bolt of lightning
Is but its fading.

Likewise, knowledge,
Drinking up the water of ignorance,
Grows so large
That it completely annihilates itself.

This absolute Knowledge is like
The intrinsic fullness of the moon,
Which is unaffected
By its apparent waxing and waning.

Likewise, that which is Consciousness Itself
Does not possess the quality of being conscious,
And is, therefore, not conscious of Itself.

If absolute Knowledge required the aid
Of some ther kind of knowledge to know Itself,
It would be nothing but ignorance.

Of course, light is not darkness;
But, to itself, is it even light?

If there is a pot, a pot is perceived,
And if the pot is broken, its brokenness is perceived;
If there is no pot at all,
Is not its absence perceived as well?

It can be seen, therefore,
That he who perceives that there is nothing
Does not himself become nothing.
The Self has this same unique kind of existence,
Beyond both existence and non-existence.

The ultimate Reality
Is neither an object to Itself
Nor is It an object to anyone else.
Should it then be regarded as non-existent?

In a tank the water may be so clear
That it appears non-existent;
Though one who looks into the tank may not see it,
Still it is there.

The ultimate Reality exists in Itself,
And is beyond the conceptions
Of existence or non-existence.

When a jar is placed on the ground,
We hav the ground with a jar;
When the jar is taken away,
We have the ground without a jar;

But when neither of these conditions exists,
The ground exists in its unqualified state.
It is in this same way
That the ultimate Reality exists.

- Excerpt from chapter 4 of Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience), by Jnaneshvar, published in: The Life and Works of the Celebrated Thirteenth Century Indian Mystic-Poet, by S. Abhayananda.

A disciple travelled to the temple and stood before the statue of Shiva. The Warden came to him and said "It is our tradition that we do not point our feet towards Shiva". The disciple replied "Certainly Sir, if you will point to where Shiva is not".

- posted to NondualitySalon

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